Principles of War


The nine Principles of War, as defined in the Army Field Manual FM-3 Military Operations:

MassConcentrate combat power at the decisive place and time
ObjectiveDirect every military operation towards a clearly defined, decisive, and attainable objective
OffensiveSeize, retain, and exploit the initiative
SurpriseStrike the enemy at a time, at a place, or in a manner for which he is unprepared
Economy of forceAllocate minimum essential combat power to secondary efforts
ManeuverPlace the enemy in a position of disadvantage through the flexible application of combat power
Unity of commandFor every objective, ensure unity of effort under one responsible commander
SecurityNever permit the enemy to acquire an unexpected advantage
SimplicityPrepare clear, uncomplicated plans and clear, concise orders to ensure thorough understanding

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